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|Posted on August 8, 2016 at 9:35 PM||comments (0)|
John 19:38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body.
Joseph of Arimathea was an incognito disciple of Jesus. He kept his trust in Jesus a secret for fear of reprisals by others of the Jewish religious leadership. Remember, we have brought out in earlier passages that those who professed belief in Jesus as the Messiah were thrown out of the synagogues.
Luke 23:50-51 (NIV) Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.
Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin who was not in agreement with their condemnation of Jesus. He was probably not there when the decision was made to deliver Jesus to Pilate to be crucified. Otherwise, he surely would have been a dissenting vote. I have a feeling that the leaders only gathered those they knew would vote with them to condemn Jesus. The reason they met secretly at night was so the vote would not be muddled up by those who were for Jesus like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
Matthew 27:59-60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Joseph was bold enough to ask Pilate to allow him to take Jesus’ body for burial, and Pilate granted his request. Preparing a body for burial is a very intimate exercise, especially as it was done in the day of Jesus by family or friends. The incognito duo of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus became bold enough to ask for Jesus’ body and perform this final service for their Lord. After Joseph of Arimathea was allowed to remove Jesus from the cross, he laid him in his very own tomb. He wrapped the body in linen with spices as was the custom, but he did not perform this task alone.
John 19:39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
Remember Nicodemus from John chapter three? He came to Jesus at night to ask Him questions. Now he comes in the daylight to assist in preparing Him for burial. Seventy-five pounds is only 25 pounds less than I weighed when I was 5’1”! That’s a lot of aromatic spices and a lot of money put into perfume!
John 19:40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
They were having to commence with the preparations speedily because it was almost time for the Sabbath. Wrapping a body for burial would be considered work and would also render them “unclean” for a period of time because touching a dead body caused defilement under the law.
John 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
As we already pointed out, that tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus was the first to occupy this tomb but only for three short days.
John 19:42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
Joseph offered his tomb because he loved the Lord, and it was in close proximity to Golgotha, the place called “the skull” where the Lord was crucified. As stated earlier, when they were finished wrapping Jesus’ body, the men left after rolling a large stone in front of the entrance.
Q – Joseph and Nicodemus had been secret disciples but loved Jesus enough to take care of His burial. They probably faced repercussions from the Jewish authorities for this action, but did it anyway. Do you fear what people will think of you if you stand up boldly for Jesus? Lay those fears aside and worship Him wholeheartedly in all you do. Demonstrate your love for Him by coming out of disguise and allowing your intimacy with the Lord to shine out through your face.